Repression continues in Iran

Mansour Osanloo

Iranian labour activists have come under fierce attack recently with bus workers' union organiser, Mansour Osanloo imprisoned and at risk of losing his sight.

The ITF is condemning the latest tactic in what it describes as a cynical catalogue of dirty tricks played by the Iranian government on imprisoned trade union leader Mansour Osanloo.

The Federation has learned that - contrary to what its representative, Indonesian KPI union president Hanafi Rustandi was assured last week in Tehran - Mansour Osanloo has not received the emergency treatment that he desperately needs to treat injuries to his eyes that he sustained when attacked by government security forces in May 2005. This is despite the prison doctor admitting that if he is not treated within the next two weeks he could go blind.

According to the ITF this latest news reveals the duplicity of the authorities. Earlier this month Hanafi Rustandi was told that he could not visit Osanloo in jail because he was receiving medical care for his eyes. The same excuse was used last week to block a visit to Osanloo by his wife, Parvenah.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: "The Iranian government is piling outrage on outrage, digging deeper and deeper into a barrel of dirty tricks. All the evidence we have is that this is a cold blooded and deliberate attempt to weaken and undermine the most significant union leader in Iran today."

He continued: "The one positive factor in this whole grubby affair is that the international trade union movement is doing its level best to keep the pressure on the government to solve it. I'm glad to report that just yesterday the European Transport Workers' Federation protested at the Iranian Embassy in Brussels.

Sadly, however, Osanloo is not the only labour activist under threat. On Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 9:00 AM in City of Sanandaj in Iran’s Kurdistan Province, three plain clothes agents who had covered their faces attempted to assassinate Mr. Majid Hamidi a labour activists in Sanandaj. Mr. Hamidi is a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization as well as a member of the Committee in Defence of Mahmoud Salehi. Various reports, including reports by the two above organizations, indicate that Mr. Hamidi was shot 7 times mostly in the arm and shoulder as well as his neck. Friends and neighbors immediately took Mr. Hamidi to the Sanandaj’s hospital, but since he was shot in neck doctors recommended that he should immediately get transferred to Tehran for surgery. He was transferred to the Amir Alam hospital in Tehran at 2:30 PM. Mr. Hamidi is in a very critical condition at the moment.

According to the Committee in Defence of Mahmoud Salehi, Mr. Hamidi himself has said that this is the least price workers and labour activists have to pay in Iran to achieve their demands and rights.

It’s also important to report that on October 17, 2007, a plain clothes agent had gone to the residence of Mr. Behzad Sohrabi, a well-known labour activist and the spokesperson for the Committee in Defense of Mahmoud Salehi and a member of the Coordinating Committee…; however Mr. Sohrabi was not at home at the time.

On Wednesday, August 29th, 2007, Mohammad Abdipour, one of the Saqez Seven labour activists, while taking his 7 year-old child to a hair salon, was attacked by someone named Omar Darwish Abdullah with a handgun. Mr. Abdipour was not harmed in this attack as he was rescued by people present in the area. In a statement on August 30th, the Committee in Defence of Mahmoud Salehi emphasized that this kind of attack, particularly with a gun, can only be done by the government forces and with their arrangement and consent.

Please strongly condemn these assassination attempts on the life of Iranian labour activists in any possible ways you can.

Protest letters can be sent to:

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 649 58 80
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed *Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Head of the Judiciary:
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building
Panzdah-Khordad Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 21 3390 4986 (may be difficult to reach)
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Institutions in Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 733 02 03, E-mail: mission.iran@ties.itu.int

The ITF has also released a short film called Freedom Will Come - The Story of Mansour Osanloo to galvanise support for his release.